Sanctuary Art Project

Created in October through December 2017, these multi panel murals were installed during the week before Christmas, and dedicated at the 10am service on December 24, 2017. They were made to replace the deteriorating soft sculptures that adorned our Sanctuary for many years, and in addition, to provide a multi panel mural to balance the one on the Lectern side of the Sanctuary with one over the Choir Loft.


Sparked by the choir’s desire to create a Memorium for our beloved former organist, Joan Mork, we hired scenic designer Bobby Sample to create paintings that re-imagine and replaced the soft sculptures. After consulting Pastors, The Worship Committee, the Trustees and The Church Council, I asked Mr. Sample to design two separate murals, one representing daytime events in the Bible, and one representing nighttime events. In August 2017, Bobby visited our church campus to see what was needed, and to begin the process of designing our murals.


Around the same time, we purchased eighteen 4’ x 4’ stretched canvases from an art supply house. A team of volunteers painted them black. Bobby then drew the designs that would become our murals in chalk, and wrote a number corresponding to a paint color inside each cell. Over a period of 4 weeks in October and November, volunteers from the choir and congregation met in the Bell Choir room, and painted the individual paintings that became our murals. When we arrived each painting day, all volunteers grabbed a can of paint, and started painting every cell with the number from their paint can. It was a great community-building event! The group typically worked on 3 paintings at a time, and stayed until every one of the shapes were filled. Many of the cells needed 2 coats.


Each week, after our volunteers had finished their part, the artist, Bobby Sample, started applying texture, shading, and generally cleaning things up. Some weeks, it was a factory in that little Bell choir room, with volunteers gathering in the morning to paint new canvases, and Bobby coming at night to put the finishing touches on them.  The volunteers finished their work on Nov. 20, and Bobby finished his around Dec. 20. Overall, our volunteers put in more than 250 man-hours on this project!


The scenes within the murals turned out better than we could have hoped for Bobby’s design uses the color palette from our Sanctuary stained glass windows.  It also has design elements that tie it in with the windows. The second panel on the second row of each mural will change with each liturgical season. As you face the front of the church, the mural on the right side of the Sanctuary shows bible scenes which occur during the daytime. (Advent: The Angel Gabriel telling Mary that she is with Child; Lent: John baptizing Jesus; Easter: The Empty Tomb; General Time: God’s hand creating the day) and the mural on the left side represents nighttime scenes. (Advent: The Wise Men following the star; Lent Jesus praying in Gethsemane; Easter Three empty Crosses; General Time God’s hand creating the night.)


The daytime mural features The Dove of Peace in the top frame, which was one of the important symbols in the previous soft sculpture installation. The nighttime murals feature angels guarding us. Angels are frequently associated with singing in the bible, and therefore an appropriate presence over the choir loft! The canvases over the choir loft are hung on brackets specially designed to stick out from the recessed openings for the organ speakers, so that the organ sound is not diminished in any way.


Many hands made this project possible, including all the volunteer painters, and those who made financial donations. Thank you all so much!  A few went above and beyond to make it happen: First and foremost, thanks to our Custodian, Shawn McMullen for being there every step of the way. Shawn hauled huge boxes, made brackets, brought paint supplies, went shopping, hung out of organ speaker cabinets 30 feet in the air to install paintings, (gulp) and took over for me on all the physical parts when I developed a bum knee for a couple of weeks. Thanks, Shawn! Linda Green, a member of our choir, put in about 40 extra hours putting second coats on the paintings and fixing mistakes! Thanks, Linda! And Mike Hicklin, Trustee, created the brackets we used to hang the choir paintings. Thanks Mike!


My prayer is that these Murals will beautify our Sanctuary for many years, and that their presence will enable our congregation members to experience God in a new way!


Ken Goodenberger

Music Director

(And temporary art guru)